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Problem goes back to November nineteen hundred and forty one goes back beyond that but you have to start somewhere by November 1941 Japan in waging war against China. I had made many inroads. Japan had consumed all of Manchuria and big chunks of China. It was to Japan's advantage that withdraw and digest some of these gains. That was Dr Robert Morris president of the University of plateau in Texas speaking at the twenty sixth annual Institute on world affairs conducted as a special feature of the instructional program at San Diego State College the institute is dedicated to the use of the free academic forum for the presentation and discussion of current and continuing issues of international significance. The main theme of this year's Institute is expressed in one word revolution.
Our speaker on this program received his doctor of law degree from Fordham Law School and served as chief counsel on several major congressional investigating committees prior to his appointment to the presidency of the University of plateau in Texas. And now Dr. Morris addresses the Institute with his topic for discussion our plight in the Far East. Dr. Morris. Thank you ladies and gentlemen attending this most interesting and most provocative session of the into two for world affairs for your kind reception. Seems ironical that with the great events flowing from Prague to March it was happenings that are overcoming Central Europe today that we must discuss the Far East. But I submit that what is happening there has a direct bearing on the subject of what we're talking about tonight namely our plight in the Far
East in the interconnection between these two things with respect to the causes behind each that neatly dovetail and come together in a very very exciting confluence of experience theory and doctrine. I'd like to single out a few of my credentials for speaking here tonight. Not the doctor generalises and a most generous and always thorough job but I think when one talks about events in the Far East that he should bear some credentials and he should have some particular qualifications for so saying I was Admiral Nimitz is a psychological warfare officer. In the last year and a half of the war and as such I had to work. You might say 18 hours a day and studying and analyzing the various political forces that were then gathering strength from the
Far East. Subsequently I was the counsel for the United States Senate. That made the authoritative damage survey. Why the Far East was lost. When one acts in that position he absorbs a great deal and as I say has the advantage of being in a first hand posture. And I contend enables me to speak with some qualifications on the events that we're going to cover tonight. In particular I'd like to point out that in connection with this damage survey this survey of how the Far East was lost. The report of the United States Senate. First the subcommittee says we report and then the acceptance of that report by the Senate Judiciary Committee and then the publication of the report by the United States Senate. All of these things were done unanimously. There wasn't a dissenting voice.
And you know how dissension in Washington is you know that there are very few things in Washington today that bring unanimity of agreement. And yet I submit that these things we're going to cover in our talk tonight at the unanimous approval of both the Democrats and the Republicans. And this investigation was under the auspices of the Democratic leadership of the United States Senate. In order to thoroughly understand our plight in Asia we have to go back to its source and its origin. We hear today many superficial solutions of how we are to extricate ourselves from a very unpopular war. Witnesses before the Republican platform committee witnesses before the Democratic platform committee. Over and over are telling us how we can. You might say cheaply get out of the mess that we find ourselves in the Far East.
Most of these solutions call for something which you roughly call a coalition government. I think the people who are making these proposals should know that they don't understand the actually what's going on in Asia when they come up with these these easy solutions these easy sounding solutions. Our problem goes back to November nineteen hundred and forty one goes back beyond that but you have to start somewhere by November 1941 Japan in waging war against China had made many inroads. Japan had consumed all of Manchuria and big chunks of China. It was to Japan's advantage that withdraw and digest some of these gains and it began to enter in to offer a series of negotiations that would lead to the United States having
some kind of an agreement a loose agreement. They called it a modus vivendi. Whereby the United States with withhold any kind of martial effort and Japan in its part would comply with certain certain restrictions. This modus vivendi was discussed and proposed at great length in Washington in November one thousand eight hundred forty one. The military people wanted this Motors for venti. They wanted this respite because they knew more than anyone else that we were not ready for war with Japan. But there were other forces at work who were pressing for the United States rejection of this proposed modus vivendi. This agreement between forces and some of these forces of course with the communist forces who naturally wanted the United States and Japan to engage in war because at that time the
Soviet Union was hard pressed by the Nazis and the least thing in the world it wanted was an attack on its flank by the Japanese forces of the United States who would be lured into an attack on Japan or Lord into causing the United States causing Japan to attack the United States. Then of course they would be relieved from the horrors of a two front war which would probably have been fatal for them in their Then dire extremity. Then there were other forces I don't mean the only forces brought to bear on the other position of a communist forces although we did establish that there were these at work. But there were people who contended generally in a very idealistic way that we should stand by our ally Free China. Preach China was then a very very popular political force in the world. It had been glamorized by most of the important spokesmen in our communications world. Some of our great leading global spokesmen
spoke very eloquently and generously of the valiant efforts of the Chinese to stem the then Japanese aggressive force. So it was no surprise or lower some disappointment to those of us who were following the thing in great detail that Kordell on November 25th came out and demanded the Japanese withdraw from Asia gave them an ultimatum that they had to withdraw us from China withdraw from Manchuria. And this was couched in such severe terms that the Japanese withdrew. I mean I don't mean withdrawal militarily but withdrew from the negotiations and gave the rants of 12 days later when they drop bombs on Pearl Harbor and we were then in for a tremendous bloodbath after that attack on Pearl Harbor we declared war on Japan Germany and Italy. We were then in it and we had to fight for
4 long years several hundred thousand wonderful men gave their lives many more times that gave their blood and enormous with the sacrifices that were made at that time. We won the war at this great sacrifice and in nineteen hundred and forty five during this period was the psychological warfare officer for Admiral Nimitz and was immersed in the political problems of having to do with the solution of the war at war's end with the framework that we had of our going to war to stand viral ifI China in the open door a doctrine which had been our policy and when we realized the Japanese had surrendered as would was was predicted as soon as we dropped our demand for an unconditional cement surrender and an orderly surrender was affected under the direction of the Japanese emperor.
Then the way indeed was open for peace in the Far East. And if we had only let the natural forces. Implement themselves at that time. We would today have peace and I dare say prosperity or throughout the Far East. But there are a couple of mischief makers or occupying high positions in our government who ironically enough and contrary to all the best interest of the United States and China persuaded the United States at its moment of strength that we should change the policy which brought us into war with Japan namely to stand by our ally free China and instead come up with something called a coalition government with the Chinese Communist having real power within the coalition. This was wholly unnecessary. It was wholly unrealistic. The fact of the matter is the Chiang Kai-Shek having been freed from the onus of having way
to wage war against Japan was able to turn his forces on the other aggressor against his regime the Chinese Communists who had worked in concert with the Chinese communists all during the war with the Japanese or during the war in attacking the beleaguered Chinese forces. And in the fall of 945 Chiang Kai shek had successfully routed the Chinese Communists in a long series of military battles. As 945 came to a close Chinese communism was about to be eliminated from the face of the earth. They were reduced militarily. They had they had been defeated and they were indeed tattered and bedraggled military outfit. When the startling change of policy was announced in December 1945. We were to win Gage. We were to work for a coalition government mind you.
Under that I was one of those run realistic situations where the Chinese Communists having real power within the Coalition our ally our loyal ally China was appalled we made this announcement but expressed its disappointment expressed its exception expressed its disapproval. But of course we had the upper hand and we sent a distinguished military general General Marshall to Asia to supplement this newly unveiled policy. Colonel Marshall arrived in China in January 1946 and brought the two forces together. The forces of Chiang Kai shek and the forces of the fielded forces of the Red Chinese and their spokesman was then Joanne ly who was generally the number two man in red China today. Well many concessions had to be made by the free Chinese. For instance there were two little towns in northern China that were occupied by Chang's
forces. Joanne Lai insisted that these towns be evacuated and be turned over to the Chinese communists. Chang understood Chang understandably protested and said Well at least if we're going to negotiate let's negotiate from the status quo. But this of course was overall General Marshall brought tremendous pressure to bear on the General Assembly and the Chinese free Chinese forces were withdrawn. The Chinese communists took over the two towns and they proved to be mountain passes to Manchuria the beaten be draggled Chinese communists. I had to get to Manchuria because they are the Japanese Manchurian army the cream of the fighting forces of Asia are by far the strongest force military force in all of Asia. They had surrendered almost without a fight to the Soviet Union after we had detonated our atom bomb of a Russian Hiroshima. And here was us mighty
arsenal with Soviet officers there who wanted to supervise the training here they'd be beaten and bedraggled Chinese communists or able to make their way first to get a rest and then to be retrained to regroup rearm and get ready for the battle they knew was ahead. Meanwhile. Back at the Consultative Assembly back at the consultative meetings conferences 19 in January one thousand nine hundred and forty six. Chang tried to negotiate with the communist. The Chinese communists are even more bellicose and even more aggressive than the Russian Communists. Such a thing is possible more truculent more unyielding more difficult to negotiate and these sessions prove to be Horus. After nine impossible months Chang did the only thing that a reasonable human man could do was get up and left the conferences they were getting nowhere
because of the truculence of the Red Chinese who made no concessions who had no disposition of negotiate and carried on in the classical toughest way that the communists have of negotiate. Because of that General Marshall then I think made a terrible mistake. And this is not General Marshall but he is speaking for the policy of the state. He then in retaliation because Chang had left the conference table. Imposed an embargo a complete embargo against the Chinese army that lasted for the next 16 months. There were nine months of negotiations that take you until September or August of September one thousand one hundred forty six. And then on top of that there was this embargo which lasted for 16 more months. Taking this thing virtually into one thousand one hundred forty eight. And not only did we stop supplying the free Chinese forces while the
Chinese forces were being equipped by this by the Arsenal in Japan. But we made it impossible for China to buy any any military whereas on any of the markets of the world by this very very effective embargo it's only an equation when you starve and disarm and hobble one side while the other is building up that the inevitable must happen. Chinese Communists spearheaded by the North Korean divisions which took on the United Nations a few years later overran mainland China and by nineteen hundred forty nine completed the route. The other fact is I don't want to over simplify this but there are other factors that in infiltration was tremendous the deputy minister of defense of the Chinese forces was a clandestine communist and he had given away most of the big battle plans to the Communists and one of the biggest battle of
1848 he disclosed the full disposition of all the Chinese defending forces and he was caught red handed in the act and of course was executed. But the deed was already done. There are many such events as that. I'm sure there were some some imperfections. There were some substandard performances I suppose there was some corruption or this was a minor thing in trying all these things and I'm not trying to oversimplify it but this is basically how China came to fore. Now this shows the futility in this case of this coalition government effort. How wrong it was that the United States at a moment of great strength should have tried to resort to solving the for the so solving the China problem by resorting to a coalition government. This emotion ran in the face
of the whole structure of the United Nations when you analyze it. Actually the concept of the United Nations was a great effort. Collective Security collective security to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war in the victorious nations banded together encouraging the regional defense PAC's to integrate effort of collective security to preserve the peace and to help the self-determination of all peoples. All of those words are almost language from the preamble of the United Nations charter. There was every nation in the United Nations wasn't considered equal because the Big Five were given a certain preeminence the big five as the Republic of China. And that's the wording by the way that used in the chart of the Republic of China. France Great
Britain the United States and the Soviet Union were to be permanent members of the Security Council. Only these five members would have the veto power. Now my the main gravity of my talk tonight is going to be that this is work which we have. This is what we have to get back to because before we come to any permanent solution. But let us go on from there. After China fell fortunately Chang was able to gather some remnants of a fighting force in this caper Formosa where he established the government. He kept his government alive I should say is the Republic of China took place and the bases of its operation was the island of Formosa which is about 75 to 90 miles off the coast of China. It's a big beautiful island as many natural resources and above all that it is now the seat of
the legally constituted government of China. The last time there was an election in China for instance Chang won overwhelmingly. So he properly claims sovereignty read Free China still has the seat of China in the United Nations. I don't see how they could give up the seat with having some kind of an amendment of the charter itself because the Republic of China is the language used in the in the charter in the in the charter itself and this is the legality of the situation as it exists. But communism the aggressive force of communism is insatiable. Having conquered all of mainland China they did not stop there. They moved on to other areas they quickly absorbed Mongolia Manchuria they committed genocide against the ancient country of Tibet and then they began to move against French Indochina in Southeast Asia in the heart of Southeast Asia was
French Indochina. The principal assignment for that undertaking was was given to Holcim in a man who was background as a French communist a hard core Stalinist a man who was not the great liberal that and the great democratic force that many of the few serve communicators here in the United States contended. Fighting the fighting the French unfriending French Indochina had many advantages for the Communist the dog but they don't even have now the issue there they quickly made the issue of colonialism. And then the Viet Minh which was the predecessor of the Viet Cong. It was easy to rally and to get some forces to join the Communists who were genuine anti colonial us and there were many people in the Viet Nam. Many people who were good people who worked with the communists
thinking that the issue there was French colonialism. But the communists persevered. The French should be labelled at home because they had to fight up an unpopular war unfamiliar with the terrain not being able to contend with the with a very very intricate ways of guerrilla warfare succumb to the Communists. And after the great battle of the end then for nineteen hundred and fifty four when the French threw in the towel they achieved victory. At that time the nations of Asia the nations of the world in fact sat down in Geneva and came up with something which was almost in the core. It was never really ratified by the United States but there was an agreement made at the time roughly a line was drawn on the 17th parallel anything north of that was turned over to the Communists. Anything south of that was to be subjected to free
elections. The little country of Laos was to be a little kingdom of Laos was to be given independence and courage meant and having so declared the world once again proclaim that peace had been achieved in our time. And we went back to sleep all over again. This had hardly been taken from the headlines of the world. These events we forgot the agreement there. There are a few voices in the United States Senate Senator Dard Walter Judd who kept pointing out that the communists didn't observe the Geneva pact of 1954 as they had not observed any of the other numerous impacts that they had entered into with the free world in the preceding years and the Communists kept right on going. If you look today at Southeast Asia you will notice
that the hub of Southeast Asia is the little country of Laos because that harbor Laos around it you have north in the north you have Red China. Then you have north south east now Cambodia Thailand and Burma correctly the Carmina said that force which takes Laos will be in an excellent position to conquer all of Southeast Asia and even though Laos in 1954 was a very formidable Western ally they undertook the conquest of that little country. Men in general for me know Savan was the prime minister strongly pro-Western orientation a firm ally of the United States a man who was supported by Secretary of State Dulles and Undersecretary Walter Robertson who has worked in the post-war years in the early 1950s established many wonderful democratic outposts all over the Far East and they keep turning up
to our great advantage today. But the Communists had a pattern. They had tried it before. They had succeeded first the subversion. Then there's infiltration. Then there's rioting. Then there's Millet. Then there's the guerrilla activity quickly turning into paramilitary activity which ultimately builds up into a military force. A powerful force in Laos. It's that path that allowed they called it which is the corresponding force of the Viet Cong. They came into being a powerful military force and they say they laid siege to a little country of Laos and by these tactics because the free world didn't pay attention to the initial aggressions didn't pay attention to the protests the calls for help from general notice of gradually this thing grew and grew and grew by following this formula that I
have just reciting by 962 the Communists had made so much inroads that when the late President Kennedy met with President with Premier Khrushchev in Vienna in 1962 we foolishly elected to solve the Laotian problem by a coalition government. And these two heads of state announced that the two governments had agreed to a coalition government for their Laotians ONE-THIRD communists that is one third path that allow a man named Savannah who found one third neutralised so than a former and one third Western general most of the general north of then got the inferior seats in the cabinet. General savanna former journalist Savannah former got the predominant seeds and
the the patents were very well represented. General also asked Chang ahead of them said this coalition government will not work. We will observe our commitments. We will withdraw when we say we're going to withdraw or we'll give up our military activities will make political concessions but the communists will make none whatever. Of course his pleas fell on deaf ears and notice the parallel just as we had imposed in the bargain one a few years earlier. We proceeded to impose. We threatened general knowledge of and with the economic and military boycott if we didn't get within the coalition and this was a foreign force for several months. And he had no cause other than to accept and he got within the umbrella of the coalition government is dire prophecies proved to be correct because in a matter of months he had to flee the country. And I believe I last heard of these somewhere in exile in Thailand
Revolution: 20th century phenomenon
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#10 (Reel 1)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #10 (Reel 1),” 1969-03-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 16, 2021,
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APA: Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #10 (Reel 1). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from